As the world becomes more complex, the need for interdisciplinary educational experiences increases.  To respond to this trend, Washburn University offers the Bachelor of Integrated Studies (BIS).  The Bachelor’s of Integrated Studies degree allows students to use existing academic resources in a sound and creative manner to individualize their academic experiences..

The requirements of the BIS degree are based on the assumption that a multi-disciplinary approach is a suitable model for the depth of experience component of an undergraduate student’s degree. In particular, those students who do not plan to seek post baccalaureate education in a specific field still might benefit greatly from a relatively brief exposure to fundamental aspects of selected disciplines relevant to their personal interests, goals, aspirations, or career path, despite never completing the full set of major requirements in a discipline.

The Program strives to meet student needs in a number of ways. Students interested in a career field which is rapidly evolving will find the flexibility to build a curriculum which meets these needs. A creative student whose interests bridge several disciplines can do so with this program. Those students whose interests follow a theme that spans several departments select courses from multiple departments.

Multi-disciplinary plans of study within the Bachelor of Integrated Studies may be created in one of two ways:

  1. Unique, customized plan created by a student.
  2. Standard multi-disciplinary plan created by a group of departments.

Creation of a Customized Plan: To meet the depth of experience component of the degree requirements, the student designs and submits for approval an Individualized Study Program (ISP). This ISP is formulated by selecting courses from two (or more) Emphasis Areas, or by selecting courses which are consistent with a specific focus, theme, or unifying conceptual principle.

A six-member Bachelor of Integrated Studies Advisory Committee (ISAC) chaired by the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) Dean or the Dean’s designee, is charged with the responsibility of reviewing and approving each BIS Individualized Study Program (ISP). Working with a member of the ISAC, students will develop an ISP proposal. The committee will review ISPs submitted, and approve or modify ISPs. Generally, an ISP will have to be approved (by majority vote) at least one year (24 credit hours) before expected graduation. In exceptional situations, the ISAC at its discretion may consider appeals to approve an ISP one semester (12 credit hours) before graduation.

Completion of Departmentally-Generated Multi-Disciplinary Plan: As the world becomes more complex, the needs for interdisciplinary educational experiences increases. To respond to this trend, groups of departments may design a Multi-disciplinary Study Program (MDSP) for approval by the six-member Integrated Studies Advisory Committee (ISAC). Such Multi-Departmental Study Programs require the approval of the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences as well as the Dean of any academic unit participating in such a program. Students who choose to pursue these “pre-approved” plans of study must complete the course-work identified by the participating departments.


Washburn University students completing this degree, upon graduation, are expected to have:

.                   Integrated diverse disciplines through a multi-departmental curriculum.

.                   Constructed appropriate research questions, conduct research, develop a research argument.

.                   Integrated diverse materials into the writing of a research project.


The following pre-approved multi-departmental study programs (MDSPs) are currently available:

Liberal Arts Program Emphasis:

Students must complete the following core coursework:

.                   12 hours of upper division courses in Communication Studies.

.                   12 hours of upper division courses in Psychology.

.                   12-15 hours of upper division coursework in the College of Arts and Sciences and from approved programs.

.                   3 hours in Integrated Studies: IS 389 Capstone Project Development (1)

.                   IS 390 Capstone Project (2)


Upper division courses may require prerequisites or consent of instructor. Programs must be formulated in consultation with the BIS Director.

Web Technology Utilization Emphasis:

Students must complete the following plan of study.

37 hours of required courses:

.                   AR 131 Basic Photo Imaging (3)

.                   AR 223 Graphic Design I (3)

.                   AR 321 Photoshop Imaging (3)

.                   CM 101 Computer Concepts and Applications (3)

.                   CM 111 Introduction to Structured Programming (4)

.                   CM 113 Visual Programming (3)

.                   CM 130 Web development I (3)

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